For the most part, we don’t give our ‘number two’ much attention. It is a background habit in most people’s lives, and we rarely pay attention to its frequency, duration, and quality.
But, the truth is, this seemingly unimportant act can tell us a lot about our overall health. More specifically, our bowel movements can give us some genuine insight into our gut health status and whether or not we should take action.
Today, we’ll take an in-depth look at the relationship between digestive health and ‘the number two,’ as well as some other considerations.
Ready? Let’s jump in.
The Digestive System and Our ‘Number Two’
Let’s face it:
Most of us prefer not to talk about our doings in the bathroom. It’s something that all of us do, yet few people discuss it openly. But, there is a solid reason why your physician asks about your bowel movements when you go in for a check-up or if you happen to complain of stomach issues.
The gut microbiome is made of trillions of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, and viruses. If an imbalance occurs, one of the first signs is a disruption in our bowel movement habits.
Research in the area still has a long way to go, but scientists are beginning to understand the critical importance of our digestive health more and more. Some go as far as to suggest that our gut health is at the center of everything, and it impacts our brain health, energy, mood, and immunity.
So, rather than see it as a taboo topic, consider your bowel movements as daily health consultation. Based on the Bristol Stool Chart, you can assess your current digestive health and see if there are any irregularities.
The Link Between Our Immunity and Gut Health
As we mentioned in the previous point, the gut microbiome is made of trillions of microorganisms, and this includes those big and strong boys – our immune cells – that keep us healthy and protect against uninvited guests.
The better of an environment we can create for these immune cells, the better they can function to keep us healthy and disease-free.
According to research, people who switch to a healthier diet and improve their microbiome diversity also benefit from a more robust immune system and get sick less often. So, in that sense, food truly is medicine.
A List Of The Common Digestive Issues
The list of possible digestive issues is quite extensive. But, below are some of the most common ones:
- Intestinal cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Acid reflux (heartburn)
Most of these digestive issues can be a result of an underlying gut problem. But, in many cases, they stem from poor nutritional choices and dehydration. For example, diarrhea and constipation can both occur because of dehydration and a lack of fiber intake.
So while both of these can be symptoms of a more severe condition, in the majority of cases, drinking more water and eating more vegetables helps fix them within a few days. With that said, here are some of the healthiest high-fiber foods you should add to your grocery list:
- Fruits (berries, pears, peaches, apples, avocado, bananas, and such)
- Veggies (carrots, beets, leafy greens, broccoli, etc.)
- Legumes (lentils, beans, peas, chickpeas, soybeans, peanuts, and similar)
- Whole grain products
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